Leo Tolstoy - Very Nice Person

Leo Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
After reading Anna Karenina, I was impressed by the chapters that take place in the countryside. The loving detail in the scenes and characters here is telling.

From Paul Birukoff's, Leo Tolstoy: Childhood and Early Manhood (1906):
Childhood: days of idyll, Moscow and Kazan University

Count Tolstoy was a gentle, easy going man. Quick to tell a joke, he was reluctant to mete out corporal punishment that was so common at the time to the hundreds of serfs on their estate. He disliked wolf-baiting and fox-hunting, preferring to ride in the fields and forests, or walking with his children and their pack of romping greyhounds. Leo recounts outings with his siblings, friends, and paternal grandmother Pelageya Nikolayevna Tolstoy (d.1838) to pick hazelnuts; she seemed a dreamy magical figure to him. Sometimes he spent the evening in her bedroom while their blind story-teller Lev Stepanovich narrated lengthy, enchanting tales.

A woman finally wins the Fields Medal after 50 years. Why did it take so long?

by Sam Howison | theguardian.com                    link to article

"As a child Maryam Mirzakhani was told a story by her elder brother about the mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, and how he, as a schoolboy, solved a mathematical problem, adding all the numbers from 1 to 100, in seconds. She couldn’t master the solution but when it was explained, was dazzled by its elegance, sparking the love affair that brought her the Fields medal.

So how did he solve it?

The answer is fiendishly simple once you know how. Gauss discovered that on adding the consequential numbers of the highest and lowest values in the sequence you would get 101. So for example, the first pair takes the lowest value, 1, and the highest value, 100, and, when added, give 101. Similarly, for the second pair, the second lowest and highest numbers, 2 and 99, summed give 101, and so forth. In total there are 50 pairs each amounting to 101, so using simple multiplication (50 x 101) the answer is given in seconds, 5050. Or as Mirzakhani puts it, “a beautiful solution”."

Inspiring Spiritual Quotes from His Grace Mahatma Das


Trying to impress others

When we truly desire to become more humble, we become painfully aware of how often our actions are motivated by the desire to impress others.

— Mahatma Das



Inspiring Spiritual Quotes from His Grace Mahatma Das

George Gray -- Spoon River Anthology

I HAVE studied many times
The marble which was chiseled for me--
A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.
In truth it pictures not my destination
But my life.
For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment;
Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid;
Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.
Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life.
And now I know that we must lift the sail
And catch the winds of destiny
Wherever they drive the boat.
To put meaning in one's life may end in madness,
But life without meaning is the torture
Of restlessness and vague desire--
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.

--Edgar Lee Masters George Gray -- Spoon River Anthology:

Teachers' Bloated Salaries (satire)

Teachers' hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work nine or ten months a year! It's time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do -- babysit!
We can get that for less than minimum wage.

That's right. Let's give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and planning -- that equals 6-1/2 hours).
So each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day...maybe 30? So that's $19.50 x 30 = $585 a day.

However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.

LET'S SEE....

That's $585 X 180= $105,300 per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).

What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master's degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6-1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year.

Wait a minute -- there's something wrong here! There sure is!

The average teacher's salary (nationwide) is $50,000.

$50,000/180 days = $277.77 per day / 30 students = $9.25 / 6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student -- a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!)

WHAT A DEAL!!!!

Make a teacher smile; repost this to show appreciation for all educators.


This Is the Man Bill Gates Thinks You Absolutely Should Be Reading - Wired Science

"There is no author whose books I look forward to more than Vaclav Smil," Bill Gates wrote this summer. That's quite an endorsement—and it gave a jolt of fame to Smil, a professor emeritus of environment and geography at the University of Manitoba. In a world of specialized intellectuals, Smil is an ambitious and astonishing polymath who swings for fences. His nearly three dozen books have analyzed the world's biggest challenges—the future of energy, food production, and manufacturing—with nuance and detail. They're among the most data-heavy books you'll find, with a remarkable way of framing basic facts. (Sample nugget: Humans will consume 17 percent of what the biosphere produces this year.)
From: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/11/vaclav-smil-wired/

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat's_Cradle
Cat's Cradle is the funniest book I have ever read. It is "choke on your coffee funny," as one reviewer put it. It is one of the smartest, too. Ironic that it is an end-of-the-world story.

Dr. Laura Markham > How to Use Positive Parenting

7.  Avoid Timeouts. They create more misbehavior. Timeouts, while infinitely better than hitting, are just another version of punishment by banishment and humiliation. They leave kids alone to manage their tangled-up emotions, so they undermine emotional intelligence.  They erode, rather than strengthening, your relationship with your child. They set up a power struggle. And they only work while you're bigger. They're a more humane form of bullying than physical discipline. Click here for more information on why Timeouts don't work.
   
8. Consequences teach the wrong lesson if you're involved in creating them. On the face of it, Consequences make sense: The child does (or doesn't do) something, and learns from the consequences. Which, when it happens naturally, can be a terrific learning experience. But most of the time, parents engineer the consequences, and enforce the time out, so that any child can explain to you that consequences are actually punishment. Click here for more information on why Consequences don't work.

NPR: A Gut-Punch Of Sadness In James Joyce's 'Dubliners'

A Gut-Punch Of Sadness In James Joyce's 'Dubliners'

Kevin Maher is the author of The Fields, which comes out in the U.S in August. I don't know why we did Dubliners when we did. We were 12, some of us g...

Source: http://www.npr.org/2013/07/21/198068094/a-gut-punch-of-sadness-in-james-joyces-dubliners?ft=3&f=1008

Shared via Google Currents

The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing

This was a surprisingly good book. I read it on the suggestion of a friend, and wound up liking it more that I expected to.

Walter De la Mare's Poem: The Truants

Author: Walter De la Mare [More Titles by De la Mare

Ere my heart beats too coldly and faintly
To remember sad things, yet be gay,
I would sing a brief song of the world's little children
Magic hath stolen away.

The primroses scattered by April,
The stars of the wide Milky Way,
Cannot outnumber the hosts of the children
Magic hath stolen away.

The buttercup green of the meadows,
The snow of the blossoming may,
Lovelier are not than the legions of children
Magic hath stolen away.

The waves tossing surf in the moonbeam,
The albatross lone on the spray,
Alone know the tears wept in vain for the children
Magic hath stolen away.

In vain: for at hush of the evening,
When the stars twinkle into the grey,
Seems to echo the far-away calling of children
Magic hath stolen away.

DEAR SUGAR, The Rumpus Advice Column #70: A Motorcycle With No One On It - The Rumpus.net

This is great advise:

Dear Sugar,
I’m crushing in middle age. That’s pretty much it. I’m middle aged, married, and crushing on a friend. And it’s full blown, just like in high school, sweaty palms, distracted, giddy, the whole she-bang. So far it has gone no farther than flirting and I really, really know better. My question isn’t what should I do (I’m pretty clear I should behave), but what should I do with all this delightful but distressing energy?
Crushed
Dear Crushed,
Steer clear of the object of your crush and use that “delightful but distressing energy” to reinvest in what matters most to you—your marriage, it seems. Do something extra sweet for your spouse this week. Have sex tonight and make it hella hot and good. Go for a long walk or a lingering dinner together and lovingly discuss how you’re going to keep your love as well as your romance strong. You’re clear you don’t want to act on your crush, so trust that clarity and be grateful that you have it, sweet pea. My inbox is jammed with emails from people who are not so clear. They’re tortured by indecision and guilt and lust. They love X but want to fuck Z. It is the plight of almost every middle aged monogamous married person at one time or another. We all love X but want to fuck Z.
Z is so gleaming, so crystalline, so unlikely to bitch at you for neglecting to take out the recycling. Nobody has to haggle with Z. Z doesn’t wear a watch. Z is like a motorcycle with no one on it. Beautiful. Going nowhere.
Yours,
Sugar



DEAR SUGAR, The Rumpus Advice Column #70: A Motorcycle With No One On It - The Rumpus.net:

'via Blog this'

Flipboard for iPad

Social media benefits from a fortuitous combination of software, services, and gadgets.

Flipboard Flud Google Reader RSS

Trapped Miners in Chile

Let's say a prayer for the miners!

People and Terminology - The Redheaded Skeptic

Quote: John Lithgow: Time sneaks up on... - The Quotations Page

Time sneaks up on you like a windshield on a bug.
John Lithgow

Time I am, and I have come to engage all men...
- Sri Krishna (Bhagavad-gita)

Super Cheap Nanotech "Tea Bag" Cleans Water Instantly (Video) : TreeHugger

Beauty Meets Brute Force

Tough love

Thomas Beek has forwarded a page to you from Common Craft

Common Craft
Thomas Beek thought you would like to see this page from the Common Craft web site.
Message from Sender:

Augmented Reality - coming soon to a conscious experience near you.

My First Blog Post

Hello Posterous.